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Declutter your space in 20 minutes or less

Kendra Y. Mims is a freelance writer and online content editor in the Chicagoland area. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in journalism. Her passions include writing, reading, and traveling.

Clean up your clutter

Working or relaxing in a cluttered environment can be difficult with papers, clothes or a mess scattered around you. Clutter can keep you disorganized, and it can actually create a stressful environment. If the junk piles are making it hard to focus or to find items that you need, it may be time to organize your space and get your clutter under control. It doesn't have to be an all day process: Here's how to declutter your space in 20 minutes or less.

Woman shredding paper

1Determine your needs.

Create two piles: One for things you absolutely need and another for stuff you can throw away. Keep a garbage can nearby for items you can toss, such as old magazines, newspapers, mail and other items that we tend to keep around when not necessary. If you are holding onto old magazines because of a favorite article or recipe, cut out that article and place it in a folder. This will give you more space.

2Sort your mail.

Go through your mail pile and determine which letters you need to keep. Sort your mail into a mail sorter as it comes in to prevent future pile ups. You also can keep a letter organizer handy to sort letters and bills by month. Take another minute to create a shred pile of any mail that lists your personal information; this should go through the paper shredder.

3Get organized.

Organizing is a mandatory task for eliminating your mess. Pick a pile in your space and determine which of your belongings you can store in storage bins and which you can use or wear at a later date. Once you have gone through that pile, tackle the next pile until all piles are diminished. Find a roomy enough place for items you choose not to put in storage bins and neatly reorganize them. You should notice that your space has more room and a neater look.

4Create labels.

Labels allow you to keep track of your belongings easily. Label your folders, storage bins and containers so you can store and find your belongings easily when needed. This will save time and frustration down the road.

5give selfishly.

Give your space a final once-over to make sure you're not hanging onto items you don't need. For example, if you're still holding onto clothes you haven't worn in years, let them go to someone who can use them. Gather up a pile of items that you can donate to charity. Donating items you don't need will help you get rid of junk piles fast; as a bonus, your reorganizing and decluttering will benefit someone else, too.

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